Chatham Selectmen Approve Bid for Eldredge Trap Dock


CHATHAM – Selectmen in Chatham recently voted to award a contract to rebuild the Eldredge trap dock on Stage Harbor.

The board unanimously approved the choice of ACK Marine, of Quincy, who bid nearly $2.3 million.

Natural Resources Director Robert Duncanson said the condition of the pier continues to deteriorate.

“There are areas where the pilings have nothing underneath them. They are basically just hanging in the air,” Duncanson said.

“We have other pilings that are rotted out at the mud line.”

A lot of the foundation, which comprises of bulkheads, is collapsing.

“Those are the summit of things we are dealing with, along with just the general condition of the pier itself,” Duncanson said.

The town purchased the trap dock, which is more than 80 years old, in 2016 for $1.3 million.

Duncanson said the structure has been modified and strengthened over the years.

Wood pilings taken from the Old Mill Boatyard a few years ago were put alongside the trap dock for additional support.

“We were concerned about its longevity even at that point in time,” Duncanson said. “We are still concerned about its longevity.”

Duncanson said officials are concerned about the longevity of the structure.

“Every time there is one of those strong southwesterly storms, or some of the other storms we have had, I’m wondering whether or not that pier is still going to be there.”

Duncanson said designs have the new pier in the same footprint of the current structure.

“It’s lengthened slightly to the seaward so that it more or less lines up with the float in Old Mill Boatyard,” he said.

The project is expected to commence in the beginning of December with work being completed by the end of May.

“I know we have a lot of irons in the fire right now with municipal projects but this project I think we can’t really delay on,” said Selectman Corey Metters.

“The trap dock is deteriorating and we all know it, and I don’t want to put the fishermen in any type of a pickle.”

Metters joked that getting the project done by May, or sooner, would be a great achievement for the town.

The joke referred to the struggles to complete the fish pier observation deck.

The bid of just under $2.3 million from ACK Marine was the second lowest bid received by the town. The lowest bid of just under $2 million, from AGM Marine, was not selected due to concerns from town staff and consultants.

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives in South Dennis on the Cape. He has been part of the news team in the NewsCenter since the spring of 2014. He studied radio broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.
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